Fairbanks Morse Engine Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Implementation: A Case Study

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Business Challenge

Fairbanks Morse Engine, based in Beloit, WI, is a worldwide leader in engine technology and manufacturing. Since the company's inception in the 1870s, Fairbanks Morse has produced a wide variety of products, including the Eclipse Windmill, the Train Master locomotive and the first commercially successful gasoline engine in 1893.

Today, the core business goal of Fairbanks Morse Engine is to provide its customers with the highest quality diesel engines and generator sets, dual-fuel engine generator sets, and OEM parts, and to back them all with world-class field customer service support. Primary markets include stationary power generation and marine propulsion.

The desire to provide that high level of customer service and field support is what led Fairbanks Morse Engine to turn to Laurus Technologies for help with its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) challenges. Diesel engines are used in many applications and often find second and third lives many years after their original purpose is no longer needed. For instance, a diesel engine originally designed for a naval ship or lake tugboat could very easily be adapted for municipal power generation. Diesel engines also have decades-long lifecycles, so Fairbanks Morse wanted to track product genealogy from the original sales and application all the way through the years to their current owners and application.

To accomplish these goals, Fairbanks Morse Engine sought to organize its field service operations more effectively, which would also affect the accurate planning of replacement parts inventory. The problem here was acute—historical data on engines serviced or to be serviced was still being stored in paper format.

This was especially true for engines that were either very old and no longer manufactured, or engines not originally manufactured by Fairbanks Morse Engine that the company was now servicing due to acquisitions. Management also sought to develop more accurate and insightful metrics and reports to take a more proactive approach to issue resolution and customer service.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Business Solution

Laurus Technologies recommended that Fairbanks Morse Engine implement the Teleservice and Installed Base modules of Oracle’s E-Business Suite 11i. The company had been using the Oracle E-Business Suite for more than 10 years as its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System, so activating the two Customer Relationship Management (CRM) modules was the most cost-effective path for implementing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) business processes. Laurus Technologies provided a team of functional and technical consultants to plan, design and implement the CRM solution for Fairbanks Morse Engine.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Business Benefits

Laurus Technologies helped Fairbanks Morse Engine launch its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) project in August 2009 and it is already enhancing customer profiling and generating more comprehensive customer data for the company. This initiative also enables Fairbanks Morse Engine to consolidate the tracking, monitoring and resolution of customer service requests, such as new installations, repairs, investigations, complaints, returns and account issues. Additionally, it has improved the accuracy and maintenance of engine location and ownership for the field service operations while also providing more insightful customer management reports. The measurable Return on Investment (ROI) and impact on Fairbanks Morse Engine’s operations include:

  • Increased first-call resolution rates
  • Reduction of parts inventory carrying cost
  • Visibility into actual costs and time for performing service-related work

The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) implementation also helped drive customer value creation by delivering insight into Fairbanks Morse Engine’s installed base, allowing the company to provide proactive engine service for customers. Install Base monitoring allows the company to identify parts that are near the end of their life expectancy and proactively notify the customer of the need for replacement. Not only does this provide Fairbanks Morse Engine with a home-field advantage in servicing its engines, but it also is leveraged as a competitive advantage during the customer acquisition process.

Since FME now maintains a detailed electronic record of its installed base as well as the locations of the products, it has an edge over competitors. Through extensive research of its engine locations, Fairbanks Morse Engine has greater insight into the thriving reseller market for its engines, including its direct customer base, business partners and secondary distribution channels. The enhanced knowledge allows for better tracking of engines around the world going forward, helping prioritize sales efforts to the aftermarket.

Next Steps of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Implentation

While the initial Customer Relationship Management (CRM) rollout focused on the sales and internal service organizations, Fairbanks Morse Engine plans to work with Laurus Technologies to expand the solution to the field service organization and other back office operations, such as finance and project accounting. The company also plans to leverage the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) foundation Laurus Technologies has helped it establish to expand its capabilities in Customer Owned Property Management for its service organization in support of potential business opportunities with the military.

First published on Call Center IQ.